Sediment TCDD-EQs and EROD and MROD Activities in Ranid Frogs from Agricultural and Nonagricultural Sites in Michigan (USA)
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In vitro studies have demonstrated atrazine-mediated induction of 7-ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity. EROD is an enzyme active in the metabolism of many compounds, including many xenobiotics. These studies have suggested that atrazine may affect reproductive function by altering steroid metabolism. The goal of this study was to determine whether relationships could be detected between measured atrazine concentrations in surface waters and the liver-somatic index (LSI) and EROD and 7-methoxyresorufin O-deethylase (MROD) activities in the livers of ranid frogs. In addition, sediment dioxin toxic equivalents (TCDD-EQs) were determined using the H4IIE-luc cell bioassay. Adult and juvenile green frogs (Rana clamitans), bullfrogs (R. catesbeiana), and Northern leopard frogs (R. pipiens) were collected from areas with extensive corn cultivation and areas where there was little agricultural activity in south central Michigan in the summer of 2003. Atrazine concentrations at nonagricultural sites ranged from less than the limit of quantification (0.17 microg atrazine/L) to 0.23 microg atrazine/L and did not exceed 1.2 microg atrazine/L at agricultural sites. Sediment TCDD-EQs were measurable only at one agricultural site. Of the measured parameters, only LSI values in adult male frogs differed significantly between agricultural and nonagricultural sites, with greater values observed at agricultural sites. In green frogs, EROD and MROD activities were measurable in both adult and juvenile frogs and were similar among sites. Median EROD activities ranged from 13 to 21 pmol/min/mg protein in adult male green frogs and from 5 to 13 pmol/min/mg protein in adult female green frogs. Juvenile frogs had greater EROD and MROD activities than adult frogs. Bullfrogs and leopard frogs had greater activities than did green frogs. Atrazine concentrations were significantly and negatively correlated with MROD activity in adult male green frogs (Spearman R = -0.800). LSI and EROD and MROD activities of adult female or juvenile green frogs were not significantly correlated with atrazine concentrations. These results suggest that atrazine does not appear to have a consistent association with EROD or MROD activities in wild-caught green frogs.
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